As I get older I keep peeling back the layers of what can I do that is different and challenges me. I’m constantly learning and listening to other music and musicians…New scales, harmony, gaining new insights.
My education lags my career. If only I knew then what I know now.
Book learning is cool. You’ve got to know how to read and write, er, type. Even more important is the power of analysis. The mark of an educated man is one who can hold two competing thoughts in his brain at the same time. You’d be surprised how few can do this, it’s what separates the men from the boys, it’s what you learn at elite institutions. If you’re going to college to make money…there are easier ways.
So it’s thrilling to uncover the truth on seemingly a daily basis. To tear down icons in my mind and realize I’ve got some chops and then I learn something new and feel stupid..Now I get how it works! If I only new then….
Too many people will tell you they have the answers. You can put your faith in a guru, you can read endless self-help books. But nothing equates with personal experience. We’re all individuals and we all have lessons to impart. You’re on your own, but that’s the game of life…
We can all play, if we realize the adventure is about lessons. Wisdom is gained through experience. Signposts are everywhere. You’ve just got to open your mind.
And apply yourself.
My father always told me to apply myself, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day.You know when you do great work, it’s part of being an artist. And so much great work comes from sheer inspiration, persistence, curiosity… We live in a land where too many do it too slowly. And they over-process a lame song into waste. We’re looking for energy, passion, that ethereal sound that makes us want to listen to something again and again and again.
And with so much stuff to listen too…
It’s a privilege to get someone to check your stuff out. You may be putting out an hour long album, but you’d be stunned to find out that only your hardest core of fans listens all the way through, because you’ve let them down, in an era of plentitude, only the strong survive.
Music is a marathon. Your goal is longevity. You start with the media story, but then it’s all in your own hands.
And radio helps.
But today the playlist rules.
You need to be in the Top Lists. The Spotify chart does not lie, and that’s the only one that means anything, because it evidences listenership, sales are a false metric. You might have gotten paid, but someone might have deleted the album after hearing it once.
It’s going to get ever tighter. People only have so much time. They’re in search of the new, but they’ll discard the work of their favourites just like that if it doesn’t measure up.
So, start with a song or tune. Release it to fanfare.
Then see if the public gets on board, if not be happy that you like it and have the chance to make more music.